26/27 January 2021
The EU Commission has updated its Question and Answers Document "Importation of active substances for medicinal products for human use" (now version 7). In this updated version, the question "Can an API batch manufactured during the period of validity of a written confirmation be imported into the EU once the written confirmation is expired?"
In the answer it is referred to Article 46(b)(2)(b) of Directive 2001/83/EC, where it is defined that APIs can only be imported if they are manufactured in accordance with EU GMP or equivalent, and accompanied by a written confirmation from the competent authority of the exporting third country certifying this.
But what if an API is produced in the time period of a valid written confirmation but imported after this confirmation has expired?
In the respective answer the EU Commission states that "it is legitimate to consider that the guarantees of equivalence provided by the written confirmation apply to any API batch in the scope of the written confirmation which was released for sale within the period of validity of the written confirmation, even if not exported in that time period."
So the answer is 'yes', it still can be imported. But it needs to be accompanied by the expired written confirmation together with appropriate documentation which proves "that the whole consignment has been manufactured and released for sale by the quality unit before the expiry date of the written confirmation" and "provides a solid justification of why a valid written confirmation is not available."
An import without any written confirmation is not possible.